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News Jordan: Ministry can operate all water resources despite strike

After striking Water Ministry employees disrupted pumping from several water resources on Monday, the minister said there was enough staff to ensure a constant supply of water to subscribers.

Newly appointed Water Minister Hazem Nasser said that the ministry is capable of operating its water resources across the Kingdom despite the strike.

The striking employees stopped several main water resources on Monday for a brief time, the ministry's spokesperson, Omar Salameh told The Jordan Times.

He said that pumping from some wells in Maan, Tafileh and Madaba, in addition to the Lajoun wells in Karak, was stopped briefly, adding that the protesters managed to stop the Khaw pumping station for a while, a main source of water for Amman and Zarqa from Al Azraq wells.

"Those who want to strike are free to do so. We have the capability to operate all water resources, even if 70 per cent of the staff are absent," Nasser told The Jordan Times in a phone interview.

He said that the ministry will be assisted by the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna), the Aqaba Water Company and the Yarmouk Water Company if the situation requires intervention.

"There will be no involvement from any other side," Nasser underscored.

The minister expressed the ministry's willingness to negotiate with the striking employees in an "institutional manner" to reach a reasonable and mutual understanding.

"Until then, water supply will not be interrupted," the minister said.

Several ministry employees in all governorates went on strike starting last month to demand higher salaries and the reinstatement of their revoked allowances.

The committee organising the strike has listed three main demands: raising overtime payments from 30 per cent to 50 per cent; distributing the “institution allowance”, which is equal to 30 per cent of the basic salary; and paying transportation allowance to all employees.

The Cabinet declined to approve the employees' demands, issuing a statement that employees of the ministry, the Jordan Valley Authority and the Water Authority of Jordan, will continue to receive their current overtime payment of 30 per cent.

Following the Cabinet's decision, the employees threatened to stop water resources starting April 1, the date by which they said the ministry promised to meet their demands.

Contact information Hana Namrouqa
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information Jordan Times
Geographical coverage Jordan
News date 02/04/2013
Working language(s) ENGLISH